Releasing their third single, Johnny Hunter takes an autobiographical look at their stellar 2018, writing about the bittersweet pursuit of success. Following debut single ‘One of a Kind’ and their second release ‘1995’, which is available on a 7inch record with this latest track, Johnny Hunter have spent the year touring up and down the east coast, playing bars in Sydney and Yours and Owls Festival. ‘Cult Classic’ highlights their growth over this year, offering their most diverse and fun track to date.
The track is grounded in Johnny Hunter’s strong punk rock sound, with singer Nick Hutt’s David Bowie inspired voice opening the verse with a passionate anger that thumps along with the heavy drums. However, the song is noticeably brighter than their previous tracks, making it one of their most fun and easy to listen to releases. The rich narrative of fame, fortune and society’s love of a good cult classic is so well constructed that it is hard to believe that this is only their third single. The themes explored are only deepened through the upbeat instrumentation, replacing the dark and simple riff of ‘1995’ with a descending scale reminiscent of UK punk band Shame’s ‘Friction’, who Hutt has indicated as one of their current contemporaries to keep an eye on.
The intensity in Hutt’s voice moves away from the Bowie derived bellowing heard on ‘One of a Kind’ and towards the melodic storytelling of his other vocal influence, Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. While maintaining this huge voice, Johnny Hunter can better explore their deep lyrics. This all culminates into one of the catchiest punk choruses of the year. The brighter guitar combines with the fast-paced rhythm and bass section to add the ‘sweet’ in ‘bittersweet’, as the singer repeats the infectious line “cash in your hands, take a photograph for your, 15 seconds of shame. Cult Classic!” The middle verse and breakdowns add the playful chaos and guttural head-banging energy that is expected from Johnny Hunter’s brand of musical pandemonium. With the last chorus ending in an adrenaline fuelled finale, drawn along by simple but effective guitar solo, the song ends on a high and leaves the listener hungry for more.
While ‘One of a Kind’ and ‘1995’ did the rounds in live shows and performances, Johnny Hunter kept ‘Cult Classic’ under wraps for this release. Without the benefit of an audience to test their song writing ability, it was a huge risk. However, that risk has paid off as ‘Cult Classic’ proves Johnny Hunter is one of Sydney’s fastest rising bands.